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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 06-11-2010, 09:06 PM
rudegar rudegar is offline
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Location: Bay Area
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 44
Mein Auto: 2004 M-B E500
Comparo Driving Event

I attended two 5 series driving events in the SF East bay Thursday and Friday. Here are my impressions:

Performance:

535i: Fast, “accessible” speed. By accessible, I mean it is almost (but not quite) instant off the line and at all speeds when in sport mode. Fast -- not neck snapping fast -- but at least head moving ***61514;. Lithe and athletic compared to my E500 and the competition I drove (more below). Interesting that it seems as fast (probably is) as my V-8 302hp E500 but more of a fuss to access the power in terms of RPM and sound. Definitely more exciting and it gives you the feeling that you are wringing out this performance as opposed to the “no problem bra” effortless & fussless V-8 I am use to. Also, the 8 speed sport tranny seems very well mated to the engine.

550i: Yes, it is neck snapping. If you leave the tranny in sport mode, then never mind the paddles, hit the peddle and just hang on to the wheel. It is very fast. Previous reports about lack of speed or off the line acceleration were not experienced by this driver. I have a 2004 302hp E500 and the 2011 550i just is in another universe in terms of acceleration, handling and comfort. Steering amazingly crisp compared to my Mercedes experience (duh) although I heard one person say it is loose but he liked it. To each his own standard. The Adaptive Drive is terrific. Changing from Comfort through Sport+ is fun and noticeably changes the edge of the performance in terms of handling, feel, shift point etc. Again I’m a novice but I don’t think I was imagining it. The whole feel of the V-8 with Adaptive Drive was a more stable feeling and “on rails” compared to the 535i. I can’t tell you how much is the engine plus 250lbs in the front and how much is the suspension. The very attractive and informative Kristy said the suspension in an Adaptive Drive 535i would feel the same as in the 550i.

A6: Sorry Audit fans. A6 is a wet noodle. Engine not peppy, barely competent. Handling (I’m no expert but) numb, and quite frankly the vaunted Audi interior is absolutely pedestrian compared to the 5 series. This widget is out of its league with the E350 and not in the same galaxy as the 535i.

E350: Far superior handling than my 2004 E500. Credible engine and speed but probably more comparable to the 528i until Mercedes brings out their next generation engines in 2011. So for the time being, the handing is on par with Mercedes standards which are different than BMW standards. Many would say inferior but to be sure different. Engine however is quite obviously a generation behind BMW.

Interior:
535i and 550i: This is the best interior ever. It is better than the Mercedes. I found the E60 to be a generation behind the MBZ W211. The F10 interior is a half gen, at least ahead of the W212. That is quite a jump. The electronic gizmos and their implementation are way out in front. Heads up, 10 inch nav screen, gear shift in center console just to name a few.

Mercedes E350: I love the Mercedes interior. There are things I like better than the BMW in terms of shape and layout. But overall, although a great effort, not a leap forward from the W211 (previous generation) and not keeping up with BMW. And, well, the “three on the tree” tranny implementation (OK so it is 7 speed and has paddles but really) makes me think of a 1958 Chevy.

Audi: Pardon me. NOT WORLD CLASS. Audi may be outselling BMW in Germany but it shouldn’t be because of this vagen.

OK, I’ve got more but the wife is calling so Peace out for now.
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  #2  
Old 06-12-2010, 04:17 AM
tim-atl tim-atl is offline
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That was a fun read, tell your wife we want you back for more ;-)
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  #3  
Old 06-12-2010, 07:57 AM
pony_trekker pony_trekker is online now
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Location: NY
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,204
Mein Auto: 5
I did one in NY.

Test drove 535 v. E350.

535
Great acceleration. Very easy to get the car to triple digits. Felt very solid when you got there. Steering was a little overboosted for my taste, being in a 3 series coupe. I took a few turns real hard. I felt body roll in the first and felt the wheels come loose a little on the second. Brakes were solid without that comfort stop bump I have in mine. Transmission always seemed to be in the right gear.

Overall I need something a bit more tossable. I am really too scared to get a 335 or 135 as I would probably wind up here http://www.bustedpaper.com/

E350
Not a fan. Brakes are suspect. Really have to mash them to stop anywhere near as short as in the BMW. Throttle response felt like a Buick as did the steering. Interior was comfortable. I didn't feel this car was in the same class as the BMW. I would never buy this car anyway -- I'd rather buy a VW or Volvo for 1/2 the price.

Last edited by pony_trekker; 06-12-2010 at 07:58 AM.
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  #4  
Old 06-13-2010, 11:17 AM
eazy's Avatar
eazy eazy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rudegar View Post
I attended two 5 series driving events in the SF East bay Thursday and Friday. Here are my impressions:

Performance:

535i: Fast, “accessible” speed. By accessible, I mean it is almost (but not quite) instant off the line and at all speeds when in sport mode. Fast -- not neck snapping fast -- but at least head moving ***61514;. Lithe and athletic compared to my E500 and the competition I drove (more below). Interesting that it seems as fast (probably is) as my V-8 302hp E500 but more of a fuss to access the power in terms of RPM and sound. Definitely more exciting and it gives you the feeling that you are wringing out this performance as opposed to the “no problem bra” effortless & fussless V-8 I am use to. Also, the 8 speed sport tranny seems very well mated to the engine.

550i: Yes, it is neck snapping. If you leave the tranny in sport mode, then never mind the paddles, hit the peddle and just hang on to the wheel. It is very fast. Previous reports about lack of speed or off the line acceleration were not experienced by this driver. I have a 2004 302hp E500 and the 2011 550i just is in another universe in terms of acceleration, handling and comfort. Steering amazingly crisp compared to my Mercedes experience (duh) although I heard one person say it is loose but he liked it. To each his own standard. The Adaptive Drive is terrific. Changing from Comfort through Sport+ is fun and noticeably changes the edge of the performance in terms of handling, feel, shift point etc. Again I’m a novice but I don’t think I was imagining it. The whole feel of the V-8 with Adaptive Drive was a more stable feeling and “on rails” compared to the 535i. I can’t tell you how much is the engine plus 250lbs in the front and how much is the suspension. The very attractive and informative Kristy said the suspension in an Adaptive Drive 535i would feel the same as in the 550i.

A6: Sorry Audit fans. A6 is a wet noodle. Engine not peppy, barely competent. Handling (I’m no expert but) numb, and quite frankly the vaunted Audi interior is absolutely pedestrian compared to the 5 series. This widget is out of its league with the E350 and not in the same galaxy as the 535i.

E350: Far superior handling than my 2004 E500. Credible engine and speed but probably more comparable to the 528i until Mercedes brings out their next generation engines in 2011. So for the time being, the handing is on par with Mercedes standards which are different than BMW standards. Many would say inferior but to be sure different. Engine however is quite obviously a generation behind BMW.

Interior:
535i and 550i: This is the best interior ever. It is better than the Mercedes. I found the E60 to be a generation behind the MBZ W211. The F10 interior is a half gen, at least ahead of the W212. That is quite a jump. The electronic gizmos and their implementation are way out in front. Heads up, 10 inch nav screen, gear shift in center console just to name a few.

Mercedes E350: I love the Mercedes interior. There are things I like better than the BMW in terms of shape and layout. But overall, although a great effort, not a leap forward from the W211 (previous generation) and not keeping up with BMW. And, well, the “three on the tree” tranny implementation (OK so it is 7 speed and has paddles but really) makes me think of a 1958 Chevy.

Audi: Pardon me. NOT WORLD CLASS. Audi may be outselling BMW in Germany but it shouldn’t be because of this vagen.

OK, I’ve got more but the wife is calling so Peace out for now.
I also drove the A6 at the bmw driving event as well. The transmission felt weird compared to the 535i. Then I found out that I drove the A6 3.2 FWD CVT model. The 3.0T A6 with quattro would have been a better match up to the 535i
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  #5  
Old 06-13-2010, 04:00 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 550i xDrive
[QUOTE=pony_trekker;5253746]I did one in NY.

"Test drove 535 v. E350."

"535"
"Overall I need something a bit more tossable. I am really too scared to get a 335 or 135 as I would probably wind up here http://www.bustedpaper.com/"

If you want something "more tossable" try the 535i with the sport package and put it into sport mode. I think it will also have active roll stabilization that will flatten out the curves. There is also an enormous difference between the standard tires and the sport package tires. Throw in the active steering and you will be amazed at how "tossable" a 535i is. Not only is steering ratio variable, so is the steering effort adjustable.
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Last edited by richschneid; 06-13-2010 at 04:54 PM.
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  #6  
Old 06-13-2010, 05:03 PM
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Kamdog Kamdog is offline
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Location: New York
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 5,869
Mein Auto: 2008 535i
I did the comparo on Friday. Very disappointed in the MB engine; seemed like it had no torque. Otherwise the MB seemed fine.

The A6 was a bit sportier, but seemed rougher around the edges.

The 535 was great.

The 550 was even better.


I went and took my own 2008 535 over the same route, and, for all intents and purposes, it drove as well or better (looser engine?) than the F10 535. It remained head and shoulders over the E350 and the A6.
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